1. Defrost the crab claws if frozen. Most fresh crab you can buy from a fish shop will have been pre-cooked, and this nutrious lean meat lends itself brilliantly to the infusion of subtle smoke flavour.
2. Crack the shells slightly with a seafood cracker to enable the smoke to penetrate
3. Melt the butter and add the crushed garlic and chopped fresh red chilli (optional if you prefer a little less heat)
4. Prepare the aioli – see separate recipe to make your own or buy ready-made.
5. Prepare your BBQ or smoker to establish a medium to low heat. Add your smoking chips using a smoker box if you have one, or wrap in a double foil pouch.
6. Baste the claws with the butter, garlic and chilli mix and place them on your grill rack. Baste again partway through cooking.
7. Hot smoke gently for 30 to 40 minutes and allow to settle
8. Gather your tools for extracting the crab meat and prepare to get a little messy! Serve with lemon wedges, aioli, fresh bread or a bowl of crispy french fries for a simple al fresco smoky seafood treat.
9. Adapt this recipe to any shelled seafood including lobster and langoustine.
- fresh or frozen crab claws
- 150g butter
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
- fresh red chilli
- 2 lemons
- aioli (see separate recipe)
- tools for the job – lobster cracker and crab pick
- a milder smoke such as Alder or Beech, or try Orange or Apricot